how can she watch breaking bad now

What’s up, it’s Alexei!

When Ngozi posted this picture yesterday of young post-draft Tater “trying his darnedest to answer press questions in English,” I thought, “You know, I could make a play fic out of that.” Which is what led to the following 2700+ words about Tater and his ESL tutor.

Many, many thanks to @ktheunready for being my Russian authenticity consultant and beta!


Georgia Martin stood at the back of the media scrum and watched Alexei Mashkov stumble his way through his post-draft interview, saw the way his fingers kneaded the brim of the brand-new Falconers’ cap he’d been handed for the initial official photos, saw the way his eyes widened and stayed intently glued to whoever was asking him a question, like he was afraid he’d miss some key bit of meaning if he blinked.

She pulled out her phone and made a call.

***

«No, Mama, I promise, my room is very nice. The family is very nice. Everything is very…»

«Let me guess, nice? »

Alexei sighed. «Yes.»

«You know I don’t doubt you, right, Alyosha? I’m not worried you can’t do this. You will be fine. But I know this is your first time to live in another country, with none of the boys from your teams here. It can be… hard, sometimes. I know.»

«Yeah, Mama, I know. You told me.»

«Are you telling me you’ve heard the stories of my youth too many times?» she asked in mock outrage.

«No, no!» he laughed. «Of course not.»

«Good. I should think not.» He could picture her face exactly, and it made him smile. «I’m glad your host family seems nice, Alyosha. I’m sure you will have many friends in no time.»

He flopped back on the bed again and stared at the ceiling. «I hope so.»

«We’ll talk again soon. Love you, son.»

«Love you, too.»

He hung up and let his phone rest on his chest. He’d been to America before. He’d thought he’d known what it would be like, that it wouldn’t be so bad. Different, yes, but there would be so many interesting new things to see, and new teammates, and he certainly knew how to play hockey. What he had failed to take into account, apparently, was how exhausting it was to try to function in English all day. For a US hockey team, the Falconers’ roster was shockingly low on Russian players, so his host family was one of the French Canadian ones. To their credit, they did speak some Russian, but it was hardly enough to have a real conversation. Alexei felt like he’d been practically mute all day.

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I really like the idea of Musichetta sitting around Joly’s apartment one day and realizing just How Deep She Is.

Like, she doesn’t even a word for what their relationship is because she’s kinda dating Joly and she’s kinda dating Bossuet but this was only ever supposed to be a casual, feel-good sort of thing but now she’s sitting here at two in the afternoon on a rainy Saturday in her sweats (and not even the sexy, low-hung ones – these are her ugly, soft-as-sin, holey sweats for god’s sake) and both of her boys are on the couch behind her and they’re watching really bad reality TV.

And she just sits there for a few minutes, leaning against Bossuet’s legs and trying to digest how stupidly in love they all are and how exactly did they miss that?

So during the next commercial break, as casually as she can, she’s like:

“So.  I’m dating Joly, right?”

And Joly is like “Uh, yes?  I’m pretty sure that’s what we’ve been doing.”

“And I’m dating Bossuet, right?”

And Bossuet is like “Last I checked, yup.”

“And you’re both kind of dating each other, right?”

And they’re like: “What? No, we’re not.”

And she just… looks at them.  Like gets onto her knees and turns around and Looks at them because Joly is curled up in Bossuet’s lap and Bossuet’s painting Joly’s toenails (and has been for the past half-an-hour – he keeps smudging them and needing to start over) and they’d been discussing who would make dinner before this and if they needed to pick up more milk and she just.

And they’re like, “What, no, Chetta, really, we’re just really really good friends!”

So she points out, “You sleep with each other basically any night one of you isn’t sleeping with me.”

But well of course they do, Bossuet doesn’t have a place to stay right now and it’s a big bed!

“Okay, yeah,” she says, “but you also sleep with each other.”

And they’re both pretty much like “Well yeah okay but have you seen him he’s really hot why wouldn’t I??

And then they all kinda freeze at that and stop to consider this. Because Bossuet’s hasn’t actually been looking for a new apartment lately, and he has reminders on his phone for when Joly needs to take his medication to help him remember, and yeah they sometimes just have prolonged make-out sessions on the couch but if they’re both dating the same girl and are really bored sometimes that’s basically allowed right?  And maybe they’d been considering getting a puppy together but how can you say no to puppies??  And yeah okay they’re probably dating and maybe their friends have been making jokes about that for a while except they probably weren’t actually really jokes now that they think about it, oops.

“’Cause you see I’m not actually even sure who I’m supposed to be here dating at the moment,” Chetta points out, because Joly had texted her but half the time Bossuet uses Joly’s phone because his never seems to have a charge, and the fact that she wasn’t sure who she was on a date with didn’t actually seem like a problem.  “So basically I kinda think if we’re all dating each other we might as well officially all date each other.”

And that’s how Joly, Bossuet, and Musichetta start dating, and how they confuse the fuck out of their friends the next day because, uh, no, you guys have all been together for months?? …Haven’t you…?

Possible deer miraculous powers

Cause I’m bored and on a writing pause and this seems fun to explore. 

Thus far, miraculous powers seem to resolve around animal symbolism, ladybugs are symbols of good fortune and love; black cats symbols of luck, usually bad but in they have also been symbols of good luck; cats in general also symbolize protection, watchfulness, and guardianship, echoing Chat being LB’s protector, usually taking the heat of the battle so she can plan, and always being the one to help her out when she gets trapped (at least I can’t recall her ever breaking out of a trap herself).

Butterflies represent change and transformation, echoing how the butterfly should help people grow and change, only now they’re transforming into their worst. Foxes symbolize guidance and tricks and most likely their power is illusions, which could work with both. 

So most likely, animal symbolism will be incorporated into powers in some shape or form. 

Deer symbolism

  • Nature (stags seen as kings of the forest)
  • Spirituality/Magic/Fairies (especially in does, specifically in Celtic lore)
  • Messengers 
  • Regeneration (antlers falling off and regrowing)
  • Purification and Peace
  • Pride, Strength, and Independence 
  • Intuition and Sensitivity 
  • Grace and Gentleness
  • Vigilance, Change, and Watchfulness
  • Longevity and Fertility 

And looking at Cernunnos. 

The god this miraculous user is named after symbolizes/represents:

  • fertility and life
  • animals and nature 
  • wealth
  • underworld and death

Considering this, I speculate the deer miraculous powers likely resolve around spirituality (Cernunnos and deer symbolism dealing with spirits/death); self regeneration or could be a healer, and by looks of the image, came with great physical strength and most likely grace. And a power related to nature is another strong potential. 

anonymous asked:

Faanfic where Tom is really depressed and has a fit over something small and gets comfort for it tho and gets help?

Yes I totally can! This was really sweet and a nice idea! I really hope that when people do things like this because of mental issues they get help, and aren’t just dismissed as being “dramatic”. I hope you like the story!!!!

I had a little bit of a take on this. It’s not too sad or angsty. I was thinking a lot about Tom’s personality and just thought, not everyone is too open to therapy. And one-on-on e situations sometimes make people uncomfortable. So I tried to play and twist it around.


Marco giggled and gave Tom a nudge on the shoulder. “And what about you, ya’ little freak?” He giggled, nudging the demon. But the playful tone ended there and Tom all of the sudden became angry– no, he became furious. With fire surrounding him suddenly and his fists balled up.

“DON’T CALL ME THAT!” He screamed. Marco gasped and fell back. Tom froze and all the fire died down. He clapped a hand over his mouth and began to shake. “I’m sorry!” He blurted out. “Marco, I’m sorry… I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry…” He stuttered. Marco shook his head and stood up, collecting Tom in his arms. He felt how much Tom was shaking.

“Hey, it’s alright.” Marco assured. Tom shook his head and pushed Marco away.

“I didn’t mean to freak out, I realized I was as soon as it started I just…” He trailed off. “… Don’t call me that…” He whispered this part very quietly. Marco nodded and sta next to him.

“I’m sorry, Tom. I didn’t know.” He explained. Tom nodded and wiped away a tear.

“I-it’s fine let’s just… let’s just forget about it.” He tried.

“Tom no. You’re upset about something, talk to me.” Marco pleaded. He knew Tom would keep all this bottled up until the point that he had another episode, and the next one might not be so small. Tom shook his head as Marco asked again, and he put his hands over his ears.

“No… NO! Marco just SHUT UP!” Tom cried, jumping to his feet. Fire collected by his hands and Tom bit his lip, pulling his hands away to hold them by his chest. “I have to go home now.” He mumbled, before running away.

“Tom wait!” Marco cried. But Tom was gone before the human could say anything. Marco sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. He knew sometimes it was better not to pry, to let people talk to you when they felt comfortable. But the problem with Tom is he would NEVER feel comfortable. He would keep all of this inside until it came out in the form of destructive behavior. And Marco loved him too much to sit by and let Tom hurt himself. So even if it was invasive, Marco had to push the demon to get some help.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

“This is a dumb idea…” Tom mumbled, holding onto Marco’s hoodie. He had claimed Marco didn’t have to stay, and he could leave anytime he wanted. But the death grip he had on Marco’s clothes said otherwise. Tom even had his claws sunk into the fabric.

“You agreed to do this.” Marco reminded. “But you don’t have to. That’s fine too.” He added fast, not wanting Tom to do this out of guilt. “It’s your choice.”

“Do you think I should?” Tom asked meekly. Marco nodded.

“I think it’ll help.” He admitted. “I made the appointment and took you here to give you that first push but you need to decide in the end.” Marco continued. Tom seemed to shrink in a little bit, and Marco gave him a kiss on the nose. “It’ll be okay.” He assured him.

“Hello, I’m Laela.” She smiled and held her hand out. “You must be Tom?” She asked the demon. Tom nodded and greeted her a little nervously. You could tell he was unsure and unused to this sort of thing. Therapy was something you did in the underworld, and his previous life coach sort of was terrible. “Marco ust have told you, we thought you’d like to do the first few appointments together?” She asked.

“I don’t WANT to do the first few sessions… alone… but I don’t NEED Marco here.” Tom tried to twist it around.

“Then let go of my arm.” Marco mumbled. Tom shook his head and gripped on tighter. Laela smiled and led the boys into her office.

“Now I was told you were to come here last week, but you rescheduled. Why is that?” Laela asked. Tom just shifted his feet and looked at Marco. Marco sighed and ran his fingers through his hair when Tom gave him the signal to respond.

“Tom got his foot stuck in the gas gauge of my parent’s car… on purpose, he later admitted to me.” Marco explained. Laela looked at Tom.

“Why did you stick your foot in the gas gauge?” She asked. Tom sighed.

“So I wouldn’t have to go to therapy.” He responded.

“Why didn’t you want to come here?”

“I shouldn’t say it.” Tom rubbed the back of his head and got a guilty look.

“You can say it.” She assured.

“I don’t think any of this is going to work!” Tom cried, nearly yelling at the woman. “I don’t think you can fix me. I had a life coach before and he made stuff ten times worse. He would challenge me not to get mad for like, months at a time! I wasn’t allowed to say my bad thoughts, and he even gave me a final exam! And I’m only just now realizing that sucked! And it was destructive!” Tom rambled on. “I came here for Marco.” He admitted.

“I told you, you didn’t need to.” Marco tried.

“I know… but I still wanted to make you happy.” Tom replied. “But I don’t wanna go through all that again. I’m too tired! I don’t want this lady’s dumb badges or stickers that say I have repressed rage!” He continued.

“Tom, the only connection between this therapy session right now, and your previous bad experience with a life coach, is that you are using the previous bad experience as a reason to not try again. You’re terrified of being hurt like you once were, so you push away everything that reminds you of it. And it’s understandable.” She told him. “Can you tell me how you and Marco got together?” She asked.

“It took a while for me to even notice I liked him… then I was silent for a while.” Tom explained.

“Why were you silent for so long.”

“Same reason everyone is. I was worried he wouldn’t like me back and I was nervous.” Tom explained. “I didn’t think he’d have feelings for me… I was always so mean to him.” He added.

“Exactly.” Laela spoke. “You let your fear keep you from forming a beautiful relationship. And you let it cause anger towards Marco, because you were scared of the new feelings you got for him.” She explained. “Just like how now you’re scared new therapy won’t help you because you had a bad life coach.” Laela continued. “You use anger to cover up the fact that you’re scared. You think lashing out and screaming, will make you appear less weak than breaking down and crying. So you bottle it up until it comes out at tiny things, that normally wouldn’t bother you.” She explained. “But the strongest and bravest thing you can do, is admit when you’re scared.” She ended on that note, checking her watch. “And that’s our time, I hope to see you again.”

—————————————————————-

“She was crazy.” Tom mumbled. Marco laughed a bit.

“Was she?” He asked. Tom nodded.

“She was totally nuts! Did you hear all the stuff she was going on about? What a monologuest.” He huffed. Marco laughed and the two kept walking. But Tom stopped and squeezed his human’s hand. “Uh… Marco?” he asked.

“Yeah Tom?” Marco turned around.

“You don’t think I’m a freak do you? Like really truly you don’t think that’s true?” He asked, blushing and Marco could feel his hand shaking. Marco smiled a bit and kissed his head.

“I think you’re perfect.”

Love Doesn't Hurt // A Veronica Lodge imagine

In which Veronica has to watch the reader deal with a recent breakup

Veronica laid her arm over your shoulders as she pulled you close to her. You sniffled, rubbed at your eyes.
“It’s not fair.” You mumbled into her shirt, pulling her impossibly closer to you. The scent of Miss Dior was comforting.
“Love isn’t fair sometimes.” She told you in a soft voice, her hands running through your hair. The whole time you were with Archie she wanted nothing more than for you to break up with him, to leave him, so she could confess her love for you dramatically in the hallway at school. But now, seeing you in tears over Archie, she wanted nothing more than to go back and stop him.
Your heart was hurting as you pictured the last time you saw your now second-time ex boyfriend Archie Andrews.
“Hey was the first person I told I love you. I can never have that back. I can never give that ‘I love you’ to someone who really deserves it.”
“See there’s this thing about saying I love you.” Veronica started. “It doesn’t matter how many times you say it, it will always mean the same thing. You could say it to eight boys in a week and it will still be a powerful statement.” You shifted so you were watching Veronica speak.
“I’ve made this mistake twice, I keep burning bridges going back to him. Kevin quit talking to me when Archie first asked me out. Betty won’t say anything but I know I hurt her. It’s like, my whole world, my perfect little castle I had built on a hill is tumbling around me.” You rubbed your temple.
“Oh honey.” Veronica cooed sadly, her hand moving in circles on your back. It hurt her to see you like this. If it were up to her, you would never feel sadness ever again.
“He was like a daydream sometimes, you know. When my life was dark, his eyes called me home… I don’t understand Ronnie.”
“And what is that?” She asked quietly.
“Why did Cheryl and her friends have to jump in?”
“You can not pay them any attention, they are just mean, mean girls.”
Cheryl was spreading the rumor that you were sleeping with Reggie, and when you went to the aforementioned football player to ask him to tell Archie the truth, he refused. He must have seen Archie approaching from behind and thought maybe he would get on Cheryl’s good side.
“No, (Y/N), I’m not going to lie to Archie. He’s a Bulldog, family. If you couldn’t handle the consequences, you shouldn’t have done the action.” Reggie proclaimed loudly.
“This sucks.” You told her. “Don’t fall in love Veronica. It hurts and it’s just not worth it.”
She sighed.
“I guess it’s too late for me.” She decided. You looked up at her through tears, a question in your eyes. “I am in love, and you’re right, it hurts. Immensely. And that’s not what love is supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be harsh and hurt. It’s supposed to be to be soft and gentle. But the thing is, love will hurt, it can be unfair, but not when two people are in love. You get it? Love will always be nice to two people if they mean it with everything in their being.” Veronica explained as she made constant eye contact with you, her hand was resting on your cheek. You nodded, not wanting to admit that this statement hurt you more than it helped.
You sighed, your hand reaching to your neck. The necklace Archie had bought you was still hanging on your neck.
“I think I need ice cream. And to get rid of this.”
“Here, let me help you,” Veronica pushed your hands away, she dropped the necklace in a drawer beside her bed. She felt a glimmer of hope in her chest. You never took that necklace off, no matter what, it always stayed by your heart.
“I have chocolate chip and strawberry in the freezer.” Veronica said, holding a hand out to you. “You can have what ever you want.”
Veronica served the ice cream, she asked if you wanted to break into her mom’s wine. The two of you sat on her balcony, watching the sunset over the tree line. You were sat on the bench swing, your head on Veronica’s shoulder. 

In that moment she decided that love didn’t hurt so bad and maybe she was okay with you not knowing how she felt about you. All she needed right now was for you to need her right now.
“Veronica?” She heard you whisper.
“Hm?” She turned her head to you.
“Who ever it is, the person you were talking about earlier. They are lucky. I hope they realize how lucky they are before you get hurt.”

Preference 44 | Not a mistake.

Britt–” “NO!” She cut him off. They had been arguing for the past hour and a half, nowhere near reaching a middle. Dylan watched as his angered girlfriend paced the room for a few minutes, feeling much defeated from this long argument. “Admit it...” he looked up at her as she spoke, “You’re in love with her.” Britt crossed her arms, getting more anxious every second that Dylan stayed silent. He eventually stood to his feet, and gave Britt an apologetic look. A sob escaped her, her face twisting into absolute heartbreak. The rest of the evening consisted of Britt locking away in the bathroom, bawling her eyes out, and Dylan packing up his things and leaving.

A week passed, and it was time to get back to work. If it were up to Dylan, he probably could’ve used a couple more weeks, but he wanted to be around friends so he sucked it up and went ahead to the studio. The process of filming and trying to be in a good mood was long and tiring. Many people asked him if things were going okay, but he only told them that he would explain after filming was over with. And then he saw her. There was no escaping it, she was apart of the cast and Stiles’ girlfriend on the show, so they had to film scenes together. But kissing her was torture, and having to hold her in his arms. All he wanted was for it to be real, but he knew that it was wrong and that she didn’t have the same feelings.

Once filming was finally over, Dylan watched as Shelley skipped off to go to the bathroom, a sigh escaping his lips. How can he still be so smitten with this girl, even with everything that is going on in his life? “Okay, now tell me what’s going on?” Tyler Posey walked up to him, and the others in the room immediately listened in, also wanting to know what was happening with their beloved actor. Dylan smiled at everyone before speaking, “Uh… Brit and I broke up. We got into a bad fight. I’m okay with the break up, it was long coming. I’m just upset with how we ended things.” People around the room collectively gathered to give their apologies, and Dylan was forced to say that everything was okay, even though it wasn’t. Some people asked what the fight was about, but he didn’t want to talk about that quite yet. For now, he had to find Shelley.

Walking out of the bathroom, Shelley was surprised to see Dylan walking towards her. “Uh.. Dylan you do know that this is the ladies side, right?” she gave him a slight laugh. He sighed, not understand how she could drive him so crazy every single second. He grabbed her hand, and pulled her into one of the many supply closets that were around the studio. After closing and locking the door, he stood there for a moment, not looking at Shelley. “Dylan, what’s going on? Are you going to tell me why you’ve been acting so weird today?” Dylan turned to face her as she spoke, his face riddled with anxiety. “Britt and I broke up…” his voice cracked slightly, but he tried desperately to keep himself composed. Shelley looked absolutely surprised. Britt hadn’t told her anything, so she was very confused. “What!? How did this happen? I’ve tried calling Britt all week but she won’t answer my calls, is this why?” Dylan laughed slightly at this, his face tilting slightly up before looking back to Shelley, who took a few steps towards him, “Dyl… what happened?”

Dylan rolled his eyes, another laugh escaping him. “What happened? You wanna know what happened?” her head nodded at his words, and he stepped towards her, closing the gap between them. “What happened is I fell in love with you, and she knew. That’s what happened.” Shelley’s eyes widened, and they stared at each other for a few moments, “H-how long have you…you know..” “Been in love with you? I don’t know, Shell, what does it matter? All I know is that when I see you, my heart speeds up. When someone says your name, I want to know what they’re talking about. We do those scenes between Stiles and Malia and I wish that they were real. So what the hell does it matter when exactly I–” her lips cut off his words as they pressed against his, and then it was his turn for his eyes to widen. However, this didn’t last long, as the warmth coursed through him and his eyes closed as it reached his orbs. His hands found their way to her hips, pulled her closer to him, if that was possible. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and her tongue invaded his mouth but he happily let it happen. They stood there as their tongues danced the tango, and didn’t pull apart until the silent music had ended. Their eyes immediately locked, and they gazed longingly upon each other for a few moments before she spoke, “You should’ve told me…” a smile appeared on Shelley’s face, as it did Dylan’s.

celemie  asked:

Oh no! What happened with omgcp? (If you don't mind telling me?)

basically for some time now, the style of the comic has been very summarization-heavy. i’m generally not a fan of the set-up where there’s three updates in a few days, but that doesn’t bother me as much as the summarization. lots of shit is glossed over. we get moments. we don’t get follow-through on anything.

we’ve gotten basically nothing substantial regarding jack and bitty since they got together, and we don’t know what’s happening in ANYONE’S relationships. not having access to the twitter is amplifying the issue. every single update it feels like nothing happened, in the sense it’s all a summary of shit that happened and no emotion or discussion or consequence. nothing that happens matters. nothing feels real.

for a while i was pissed. we’ve glossed over the details of jack and bitty getting together and we’re making our way into closeted drama. i know that drama is going to happen, but i am not interested in a story where we get closeted drama but we don’t get actual story or actually see the positive side of the relationship or even truly see how the closeted drama is affecting the characters. 

the recent update with the kegster pushed me from angry to sad. that shitty came out of nowhere and we don’t have the context or follow-through to understand and it feels like a betrayal of the character we’ve known. we’re bogged down in all of this shit that’s happening for no reason.

plus the fandom’s gotten huge in recent months and it feels claustrophobic and i’m tired and i’m angry and i’m sad and i don’t even want to talk about this shit anymore at this point. i’m not gonna just stop reading because it takes so little effort to read the comic but i’m not interested in really engaging about the comic anymore. and i’m not far away from a breaking point where i WOULD stop reading it like i’ve been threatening to if the story continues to be closeted drama without real story behind it.

i don’t feel like i’m explaining myself well but i’m certainly not the only person who feels this way and frankly i don’t understand how people can’t see this dramatic shift in style and quality happening.

i feel bad, as a queer person, to watch the comic shift into this style that kind of feels like cheating, like n knows she can get away with it because there’s an actual m/m relationship now so she can kind of do whatever she wants, and she CAN, people are flocking to it now. it just feels gross. i don’t know. it doesn’t sit right for me. i don’t feel good about the comic anymore and it’s upsetting.

"Please put me down, it's just a sprained ankle"

Pre-couple. Set between 4x16 & 4x17. Beckett twists her ankle and Castle carries her home. From Castle Fanfic Prompts Blog.

“Castle please put me down, it’s just a sprained ankle!” Kate exclaimed for the hundredth time that morning.

However Castle wasn’t listening and insisted on carrying her up the stairs to her apartment, cursing the fact that the elevator was broken and she lived on the third floor.

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Arrow 3x05: The Secret Origins of Felicity Smoak

I need to preface this review by saying I am battling the Head Cold from Hell, and as such this might be a little more snarky than I intend it to be. Because I think I like this episode, but to be honest last night I had just popped some Mucinex DM and was trying to keep both lungs in my chest, so that probably affected my viewing of the episode. So this rewatch meta should prove interesting, to say the least.

Let’s go.

Training montage! And here again we have the Laurel/Thea problem. Because Thea is the only one who actually looks like she knows what the hell she’s doing. She is focused, her moves are precise. She fights Malcolm to a draw. Meanwhile, Laurel looks positively foolish swinging madly at Ted Grant. Again, it comes down to training and fighting style. Because right now, Thea would take Laurel down easily, sword or no sword. And that’s a problem for the woman the writers want to sell as the future Black Canary.

Anyways, how much do I love that Felicity struggles with sit-ups? Although I’m confused as to why she’s brushing her teeth before drinking coffee…

Sorry, that was the cold medicine.

Ray has been a polarizing figure since even before he stepped on screen. Yes, his pursuit of Felicity was a little over the top (although I, personally, didn’t find it too bad, as he was acting as a headhunter, not as a romantic partner), but what I’m starting to realize about Ray, based on 3x03 and his early morning invasion of Felicity’s apartment, is this:

Ray is a nerd. A huge nerd. A nerd in a handsome body, but a nerd all the same. He’s the smartest man in any given room, and probably (okay, definitely) lacks some social skills. I don’t think he has any actual friends. I think his mind goes goes goes, and when he hits on an idea he gets so excited that he can’t stop himself. He has to implement it NOW. He needs to share it NOW. (What’s his response when Felicity “calls in sick”? He tells her to “feel better,” but then his mind is immediately back on the task at hand. “Oh, that’s genius,” he mutters to himself. He’s completely forgotten about Felicity and her mom. He’s back in his own little world.) And for what might be the first time in his life, he’s got someone who speaks his language. Who can match him intellectually. So when he hits on an idea about co-whateverthefuck (he says this morning, but let’s be real, he was up all night with this), OF COURSE he’s going to run to Felicity to share it. He has calculations on a napkin, for Pete’s sake! And in his mind, CLEARLY Felicity is going to be just as excited about this as he is.

And Felicity, God love her, rolls with it. That look she gives as she leans back on the sofa with her beloved cup of coffee. Don’t tell me she doesn’t run into Ray every other morning in the lobby of QC and have him chew her ear off the entire elevator ride up about whatever new idea he has to save the city. That look she gives him says, “Ugh, here we go again. You need a leash, Ray. My job is to keep your crazy ideas on a leash.”

The point of all this being, while I love their interaction and relationship as presented in this episode, there’s absolutely no heat between them. I can see them becoming friends, business partners, even, but never lovers. Bring in Barry, and he and Felicity and Ray would dominate Trivia Night. But I don’t feel any hint of romantic attachment between them. This could change, of course, but it would need to happen fast.

DONNA FREAKIN’ SMOAK.

Come here and let me love you.

But only on my TV set, because darling, you are a Woo Girl, and while I love that in my TV characters, I would be rolling my eyes at you so hard in real life.

And that’s what Arrow gets so perfectly right about Donna Smoak. Look at her outfit. HER PLANE OUTFIT. Who travels like that? Her reaction upon seeing Felicity is to scream and jump up and down and hug her tight. She doesn’t understand technology; she can’t even text. She’s giddy that she can meet Ray Palmer, “The Watch Guy,” and when he gives her his proto-type, I wondered how many other men Donna has gotten to give her things (which, based on how she develops during the course of the episode, is probably an unfair thought).

Felicity is mortified. Absolutely mortified. And surprised. I had gone into this episode thinking it was Donna who was the distant parent, but it’s not – It’s Felicity who’s the distant daughter. How many calls from her mother does she let go to voicemail? How many emails does she leave unanswered? When was the last time she even saw her mother? (I love, LOVE the end of this scene, as Felicity slides down the door after dying of embarrassment. Don’t tell me she didn’t do that on a regular basis as a teen.)

Anyways, my point here was that Arrow expertly threads the needle by presenting Donna as someone the audience can love right away, but also highlighting why Felicity especially would find her, at times, unbearable. Imagine their home life. Felicity, a kid genius, taking apart motherboards and reading tech journals. Donna, working sixty hour weeks, likely at odd hours, cocktail waitressing because that was the only job she could get. Felicity making her own dinner more often than not. Donna coming home and trying to connect with her daughter in the only way she can – playing with her hair, telling her to spruce up her wardrobe, asking about boys. And Felicity reading this as her mom not approving of her, thinking that she’s done everything right academically, but she’ll never be good enough for her mom because she’s not wearing the right clothes or doesn’t have the right haircut. Of course we immediately love Donna – We didn’t have to live with her.

MIT, 2009. Goth Felicity! (BTW, no way Donna approved of that wardrobe. Which is likely a large part of why Felicity dressed that way.) Maybe this is wrong to say, but the kisses between her and Cooper were hot. All I could think was that when she and Oliver finally get together, my TV is going to melt.

And here’s where the episode set something up but never really followed through. Because I thought it was so interesting that Cooper wanted to wipe out student loans. Which, yes, okay, it’s illegal – but it’s a noble cause, yes? The Millennial Generation is drowning in debt incurred through student loans; this was JUST on NPR about how this will have massive effects on the economy, starting with home ownership. So when Cooper wanted to use Felicity’s super virus to wipe out records of student loans? I was all for it. A modern day Robin Hood, right?

So it was especially disappointing to learn Cooper needed Felicity’s help in the present just so he could get a load of cash. I wanted him to have some crazy idea about freeing the city, something that sounded good in theory but that we all knew would be horrible if actually implemented (you know, like communism). You let me down, Coop. I wanted a crazy hacktivist, but in the end you were just a glorified bank robber.

Oliver, take notes: This is how you successfully lie to someone you love. Thea is playing a dangerous game here with Malcolm, and one of the things I’m most excited about this season is watching how this storyline will play out. I want to see Thea go dark, and then have a great redemption arc (This can go over into next season. More Thea, I say!). But she’s also right. She’s an adult, something I think Oliver has struggled to see her has ever sense he came back. She grew up without him, but he still sees her as a little girl. Oliver needs to accept Thea for who she is now, love her for who she is now. Because it’s the only way he’ll be able to save her after she breaks bad.

Eye of Sauron! Some Bad Guys have been watching a little too much Lord of the Rings…

Donna meets Team Arrow. Oh, God, I love this scene. SO MANY HEADCANONS. Team Arrow Thanksgivings! Team Arrow Sunday Night Dinners! The Donna Smoak Daycare for Children of Superheroes!

The best part of all of this is Oliver. From his grin to him mouthing “Mom” to making sure Diggle does not miss this moment, it was all perfect. If this was an AU in which Oliver really was just a nightclub owner and the city didn’t need to be saved, you can bet he would have been teasing Felicity mercilessly about this. And Felicity…She looks like she just wants the floor to open up and swallow her. How many times has she been embarrassed by her mom? What happened on Parents’ Weekend all those years ago? Did Donna say something silly to one of Felicity’s most distinguished professors? I didn’t want this scene to ever end!!

“Who is she going to tell?” Umm, all the other babies at the playground, Diggle! This is how rumors get started! Just leave your newborn with a complete stranger for like six hours. NBD.

Ugh, Laurel fucking shit up again. And it’s not even her fault. I mean, it is, but here’s where I blame the writing, and not the character. Because 1) Laurel’s only in this episode because she has to be and 2) there were so many other, better ways to show Laurel’s is spiraling besides HAVING HER CALL IN THE RIOT POLICE. Have her miss a few dinners with her dad. Have her looking disheveled because she isn’t sleeping enough. Have her be late with filing a brief. ANYTHING but this, which makes her look incompetent.

Look, this is Felicity’s big episode, so I’m just going to say this about Laurel – If the show wants to turn her into the Black Canary, then they need to either spin her off or bump up her screen time. These might seem at odds, but hear me out. Right now Laurel is not connected to the A (re: Oliver) storyline. She’s in this episode because she has to be, because she’s listed as a major character. But her actions here don’t have any bearing on the main storyline. She’s completely unnecessary here, and if she’s going to continue to be doing her own thing, then she needs the space to be able to DO her own thing. Give her her own show. Or, since that is impossible, then Laurel needs a Laurel-centric episode. More than one, actually. Because this whole becoming Black Canary plot is too big to be the B-storyline. The one that gets shoehorned in each episode. If you’re going to do this, Arrow writers, then do it right. Or don’t do it all. But this half-baked plan you got going is not working, at least not for me.

Supportive Oliver! About damn time, I say. How many times has Felicity talked your down from some suicidal ledge, pulled you out of a self-hate spiral? You owe her, Oliver. What I loved about this was how Felicity seemed so sure he was going to yell, but instead he calmed her down and listened (character development!). And that he didn’t touch her. In fact, I don’t think they touch at all this episode. If this were in Season Two, right now his hand would be on her shoulder. That’s how he would have gotten her to stop babbling. But he can’t. Not anymore. He lost the right to touch her like that. So all he can do is stand close to her and offer his support. Y’all mark my words: The next time Oliver and Felicity touch is going to be a major moment. It won’t be casual. It will have so much weight it’s not even funny.

(Also, go Felicity, for throwing Oliver’s questioning of her past right back at him.)

Oliver, you are so bad at lying. Please tell me Thea already knows about Oliver’s Arrow identity. I think I’d almost prefer for her to just casually mention it and be like, “Seriously, Ollie, you suck at lying” than have some overly-dramatic reveal.

Step off, Oliver, you don’t get to be jealous that Felicity had a boyfriend before you knew her. A boyfriend she thinks is dead (as my Husband said last night, “Wow, Oliver really just stepped in it, didn’t he?”)

Storytime: I was (am) a huge nerd. I was always one of the smartest kids in my class. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying this because the fight Felicity has with her mom rang so true for me. My mom isn’t a single mother or a cocktail waitress; we have, in contrast to Felicity and Donna, an extremely close relationship. She’s always been my main pillar of support. And yet, when I was in high school and a little shit, I yelled at her exactly the same way Felicity just yelled at Donna. Because my mom wanted me to get bangs, and I didn’t. “Why am I never good enough for you!?” I remember screaming at her. Because I had always done everything right, but due to my own insecurities, I felt like my mom still saw me as not good enough, because I didn’t have bangs. Which is, obviously, bullshit, but that’s how I felt all the same.

Which is to say that Felicity lashing out at her mother felt so true and so horribly right that it was almost uncomfortable to watch. Like old episodes of The Office, when the awkwardness hits just a little too close to home and all you can do is wince. This scene – both Emily Bett Rickards and Charlotte Ross knocked this out of the park. This fight was years in the making, and it finally erupted, exposing both their deepest fears and insecurities. It was agonizingly beautiful.

(Quick question: Where was Sara? Did Donna leave her in the elevator? With the security guard in the lobby?)

Diggle and Roy having a silent conversation and leaving. Yeah, I bet they did that a lot over the summer.

An ARGUS nanny? How has this not come up before? And it’s a he? It’s the Rock, right? Or Vin Diesel? Please, someone do a thing about baby Sara and her bodybuilder of a nanny.

Cooper. Cooper, Cooper, Cooper. Again, you disappoint me. All this was about money? The NSA simply let you go? Really? So much potential here was squandered. Although I do love that Oliver knows Felicity is always within reach of her phone. Voicemail has probably never been more chilling for him.

Donna Smoak as Momma Bear! Because it’s so true. Being a mother makes you brave. I look at my son and there is NOTHING I wouldn’t do to keep him safe. Of course Donna loves Felicity so fiercely. It was Felicity that doubted it, Felicity who needed to hear it. Earlier, she threw it in Donna’s face that she had a “real job.” Felicity probably grew up feeling ashamed that her mother was a cocktail waitress, never questioning or considering that this wasn’t the job Donna WANTED. It was the job she NEEDED in order to take care of Felicity. Donna Smoak knows she isn’t made for greatness, but she sure as hell knows Felicity is, and there’s nothing she won’t do to make that possible. And that includes working sixty hour weeks in six inch heels.

“I disagree!” Has Oliver ever had a greater hero moment? Arriving literally at the last second, bow drawn, with a killer line. He even gets a great swell of hero music! Oliver’s here to save the day!

I really should be used to this be now. I mean, they even showed us that clip of Felicity stabbing Slade in the “Previously, on Arrow” opening. We’ve seen Oliver save Felicity. I really thought he would again here. I’d written that I thought he would kill again, for her.

I have never been happier about being wrong.

Because of course Felicity saves herself. It’s her episode. Felicity is a hero in her own right. She didn’t need Oliver in the end.

Because Felicity Smoak saved herself.

And Oliver watched it. He watched the love of his life take down her enemy, the man threatening her with a gun.

You know, I wonder what Oliver was thinking at that moment. I mean, this is now what, the third time someone has held Felicity as a human shield (four if you count the casino, although he wasn’t in love with her then). There’s definitely less wiggle room here than there was with the Count; he’d need a head shot to take down Cooper. Is he basically chanting Don’t Miss Don’t Miss Don’t Fucking Miss in his head?

I guess we’ll never know. Because, say it with me now: Felicity saves her own goddamn self.

I think Oliver is a little stunned. And then that nod. One of respect and admiration. Because Felicity can take care of herself. No, she’ll never be a great physical fighter. And yes, there will likely come a time when she does need Oliver to save her again. But she is also a hero in her own right. She will not break. She does not need the Arrow to get her into danger, nor does she need him to get her out of it.

(Oh, and while this is going on Diggle and Roy and fighting the Red Shirts. Two things: Diggle has a mask! And the look on Roy’s face after he arrows the rocket launcher? That look of “Oh, shit, that actually worked?” And then he just stood there while Digg took care of busniness? Pure gold.)

“And you know how I feel about her.”

So, honestly, I had forgotten about this line tease. And then he said it, after that little speech (that you know he came up with and practiced the whole ride back to the Foundry) and my first reaction was Awww, followed immediately by:

Don’t you fucking dare, Oliver Jonas Queen.

You don’t get to keep alluding to your love for Felicity but not act on it. That is not right. That is not fair.

And I was so glad that Felicity’s response was basically, “Ugh, Oliver, this again?” And Oliver’s face just reads, “Aww shit, why can’t I keep my big mouth shut?”

I feel like Oliver just does not know what to do here. He has never been in this situation and he’s floundering. This would be amusing if it weren’t so heartbreaking. Just get your shit together, Queen! And until you do, you don’t get to touch Felicity. You don’t get to flirt with Felicity. You don’t get to find new roundabout ways to say you love her without actually saying you love her. Ugh. I swear to God, Oliver. Go take a League of Assassins time out. Maybe when you come back in mid-January you’ll have gotten your head out of your ass.

I’m kidding. Mostly. Half. I’m half kidding. Because I get where he’s coming from. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I get it. And I know this must be so tough, to love someone but need to stay away, but still have to work closely with them because Saving the World outweighs Awkwardness of Working with My Pseudo-Ex. And now that he has admitted he loves he, he probably wants to shout it from the rooftops. He almost lost her, again. He wants her to know he loves her, in case that night or the next or one next year one of them doesn’t come back. I understand, I do. But I still don’t like it. And I’m proud that Felicity refuses to let him keep pulling her back.

(Also, memo to Arrow costumer: No more bare midriffs. I mean, yes, they look cute on Thea when she’s unpacking, but not on Felicity when she’s on her way to work. Felicity is Working Girl, not a working girl, if you know what I mean.)

I don’t really know what to make of Felicity’s Goth to Season One transformation. The idea that she also has a secret identity? That her glasses are her mask? (Which is interesting, because I always thought of Felicity without the glasses as the disguise. It’s how she appears during missions, but it’s not her “real” self.)

Oliver and Thea as roommates! At least he’s getting out of the Foundry. Sibling bonding while Malcolm watches from the next rooftop over. That’s a Hallmark moment if I ever saw one. (Love that Oliver and Thea are sitting in essentially the same pose.)

Felicity and Donna make up. Ray gives Felicity another day off. Does she ever go to work? And what does Gerry do on his days off? (Spin-Off! Gerry’s Day Off! Gerry loves when his boss Felicity “calls in sick” – it means he can take off, too! But every time it happens, some lunatic attacks the city! All Gerry wants is to go to the movies on his day off, not fight for survival!)

And now we get to the big ending – Roy dreaming that he killed Sara. Look, if Roy killed Sara – well, I won’t say I’m done with the show because that would be a lie, but it would sour me on the show. It would just be too out there crazy town. It wouldn’t be smart storytelling. Why would Roy kill Sara? Why? Unless he’s being controlled, which is interesting, but still horrible for Roy. Now, yes, he did know what was said to Sara and Sara’s response. To this I would say: It’s a TV show. This was done to remind the audience of how Sara died (remember, most of the people who watch Arrow are not obsessed. They need the reminder because they haven’t rewatched and analyzed Sara’s death.). Yes, this could prove to mean something – but I’m leaning towards not. Instead, I’m guessing Roy is remembering killing the cop in 2x20, but that memory is getting mixed up with his processing of Sara’s murder. He knows he’s guilty of something, but doesn’t know what, and so his subconscious is portraying him as Sara’s killer.

Who DID kill Sara? Honestly, I have no clue. I thought it was Malcolm, but after 3x04 I kind of believe him. I also don’t think it’s Thea. I hope it isn’t Ra’s, because I want him to be more of a subversive Big Bad. I wonder if they would bring Tommy back. I’m gonna go with that for now, because I honestly have no idea whatsoever.

Overall, I really really enjoyed this episode. I loved seeing Felicity take charge of her own story. I loved seeing Oliver supporting her; he was her sidekick for once. I wish they had had a more in-depth talk. They need one, desperately, but I’m guessing that conversation will come in the midseason finale. But Donna Smoak was a delightful surprise, and once again Emily Bett Rickards proves that Arrow isn’t Arrow without her or Felicity. Not bad for a one-off guest star.